About us

Our purpose

The Gas Market Reform Group (GMRG) was established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council (Energy Council) in the latter half of 2016 to lead the design, development and implementation of a range of reforms set out in the Gas Market Reform Package, including:

  • a new information disclosure and commercial arbitration framework for non-scheme pipelines;
  • the capacity trading reform package, which provides for the development of a capacity trading platform, a day-ahead auction of contracted but un-nominated capacity, a reporting framework for secondary capacity trades and the development of standard terms to facilitate the trade of transmission pipeline and compression services; and
  • the development of the terms of reference for the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) biennial review on the growth in liquidity in wholesale gas and pipeline capacity trading markets.

The GMRG was also asked by the Prime Minister to work with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on options to improve the level of transparency across the gas supply chain.

These reforms are intended to promote:

  • the National Gas Objective, which is to:

…promote efficient investment in, and efficient operation and use of, natural gas services for the long term interests of consumers of natural gas with respect to price, quality, safety, reliability and security of supply of natural gas.

  • the Energy Council’s Vision for the Australian Gas Market, which is for

…the establishment of a liquid wholesale gas market that provides market signals for investment and supply, where responses to those signals are facilitated by a supportive investment and regulatory environment, where trade is focused at a point that best serves the needs of participants, where an efficient reference price is established, and producers, consumers and trading markets are connected to infrastructure that enables participants the opportunity to readily trade between locations and arbitrage trading opportunities.

Governance and structure

The Energy Council appointed Dr Michael Vertigan AC as the GMRG’s independent Chair. This diagram describes the governance structure of the GMRG, its work streams, and its relationships with stakeholders. 

View a larger version of this diagram

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Further information on the Governance arrangements for the Joint GMRG and AEMO Implementation Project is provided on the Transportation Capacity Trading Reforms implementation page.

Our team

Dr Michael Vertigan AC - Independent Chair

Michael (Mike) Vertigan holds a PhD from the University of California (Berkeley) with fields in Economics and Business Administration and an honours degree in Economics from the University of Tasmania with majors in economics and accounting.

For the past twenty years he has held a wide range of public and private sector board and advisory roles in energy, infrastructure, finance and investment including as chair of the Expert Panel for the Review of Governance of Australian Energy Markets, the Expert Panel for NBN Cost-Benefit Analysis and Review of Regulation, the Energy Security Council and the Solar Flagships Council. Michael is a former Secretary of government departments in Tasmania and Victoria and before that held appointments in universities in Australia, USA and Canada.  He is a former Chancellor of the University of Tasmania.

Michael was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2004 for contributions to fiscal policy reform, strategic investment and university governance.

Sandra Gamble – Strategic Program Director

Sandra holds a Master of Business Administration and an Bachelor of Engineering with Honours. She has worked across government, the public, private and not for profit sectors with particular experience in market reform, utilities, infrastructure and energy.

Prior to joining the GMRG, Sandra held senior executive roles at Sydney Water and Jemena with accountability for strategy, regulation, public affairs, governance and assurance. In the 2000s Sandra led the introduction of retail competition in gas in New South Wales, prepared a report on the Australian wholesale gas market, and reviewed the state of the New Zealand gas industry.

Katherine Lowe – Senior Technical Advisor

Katherine holds a Master of Applied Finance, a Master of Economics and a Bachelor of Business (majoring in Finance and Economics) and has over 15 years’ experience working as an economist. Katherine has a particular depth of experience in the gas and electricity sectors and has provided expert economic advice on a range of matters, including market design, regulatory frameworks, wholesale gas prices and infrastructure access prices and non-price terms and conditions.

Prior to joining the GMRG, Katherine was involved in the AEMC’s Eastern Australian Wholesale Gas Market and Pipelines Framework Review, the ACCC’s East Coast Gas Inquiry and the AEMC’s Gas Market Scoping Study.

Zoe van der Lee – Legal & Policy Advisor

Zoe holds a Master of Climate Change, a Bachelor of Laws (with honours) and a Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management.  Having worked for the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy, Zoe has over five years’ experience in energy policy, including in relation to gas, energy market governance and carbon policy.

Prior to joining the GMRG, Zoe supported Dr Vertigan during the Examination of the current test for the regulation of gas pipelines and was involved in developing the COAG Energy Council’s Gas Market Reform Package. Previously, Zoe was also involved in the development and implementation of the COAG Energy Council’s Gas Transmission Pipeline Capacity Trading Regulation Impact Statement.

Evan Bendelstein - Policy Advisor

Evan holds a Bachelor of Laws (with first class honours) and a Bachelor of Arts. He has over eight years experience as a corporate lawyer, working for both private and public sector clients and specialising in general commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, major contracting and procurement.

Prior to joining GMRG, Evan worked in top-tier law firms in Sydney and Canberra, including most recently as a Senior Associate for King & Wood Mallesons. Evan has undertaken numerous client secondments, including a secondment in late 2017 to the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy.

Advisory Panel

In 2017 the GMRG established an Advisory Panel of senior industry executives to provide strategic insights on the design and development of the information disclosure and arbitration framework, the capacity trading reform package and the terms of terms of reference for the biennial review into the growth in liquidity in the gas and pipeline capacity trading markets. The members of the Advisory Panel are:

  • Nevenka Codevelle, Company Secretary & General Counsel, APA Group
  • Warwick King, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pacific LNG
  • Graham Salmond, General Manager, BHP Billiton Petroleum Australia
  • Mark Collette, Executive Energy, EnergyAustralia
  • Rosemary Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Consumers Australia
  • Paul Adams, Managing Director, Jemena
  • Chris Crozier, Vice President Global Supply Chain, Orica
  • Greg Jarvis, Executive General Manager, Supply and Operations, Origin Energy
  • Dr Stephen Bell, Chief Executive Officer, Qenos
  • Angus Jaffray, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Services, Santos Limited
  • Tom Summers, Vice President, Supply and Optimisation, Shell Australia

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This diagram outlines the Gas Market Reform Group’s (GMRG) governance structure and the work streams it is responsible for. It also outlines the GMRG’s relationship with stakeholders including the COAG Energy Council, Senior Committee of Officials, the Advisory Panel, Jurisdictions, Energy Market Bodies, Gas producers, pipelines, shippers, users consumers and the community.